After a 41-day long strike, the members of the United Auto Workers union and General Motors (GM) have finally reached a tentative contract agreement. A strike of this magnitude has not been seen in over a decade, with over 48,000 hardworking GM employees taking part.
The negotiations between the union and GM started on July 14th, 2019, after the contract between GM and the UAW expired. It was then that the UAW asked its 48,000 members to go on strike until their demands were met. The dispute revolved around wages, job security, and healthcare insurance among other issues.
For weeks, workers converged on the picket lines across the United States to express their dedication and resolve. The solidarity of the workers was exemplified by organized rallies, peaceful protests, and a flood of donations for those affected.
On October 25th, 2019, a tentative agreement was finally made between GM and the union. This historic deal includes provisions on wages & benefits, job security, signing bonuses, and profit-sharing. General Motors employees will receive an average of 3% pay increases and 4% lump-sum bonuses, as well as job security, training, and other benefits.
The agreement preserves existing healthcare benefits, while securing wage increases for all permanent production workers, entry-level workers, and those in the skilled trades. Moreover, the agreement allows for further increases in wages and benefits as the company achieves certain performance goals.
As a result of the agreement, workers will be able to get back to work and resume production at GM factories. In addition, thousands of other workers in the automotive supply chain will be able to get back to work as well.
The agreement between GM and the UAW is a relief to many and is a testament to the power of collective action. The long and difficult strike did achieve its major goals and will serve as an inspiration to those fighting against exploitation and inequality in the future.